Alison Overholt has been Editor in Chief of espnW since 2014 and became Vice President, Editor in Chief, of ESPN The Magazine in 2016—the first woman to head a major U.S. sports magazine. In 2018 Overholt added oversight of all of ESPN’s longform digital storytelling, and became the executive leading the ESPYS, ESPN’s annual awards show airing on ABC, which gathers top celebrities from sports and entertainment to celebrate the year’s most memorable moments and achievements in sports.
Drawn to stories of innovation, reinvention and barrier-breaking, Overholt began her career as a writer in Silicon Valley, chronicling the dotcom era sea change around both emerging technology and workplace culture for Fast Company magazine, where she earned the Asian American Journalists Association National Print Journalism Award for a cover story about the growth of Starbucks into a retail juggernaut. She joined ESPN in 2005 as an editor covering sports business and technology, eventually rising to manage The Magazine’s enterprise and investigative team, as well as leading the publication's Olympics coverage in Beijing and Vancouver. In those roles, Overholt edited stories honored with the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award (2007) and both print and digital category wins from the New York Press Club Awards for Journalism (2010).
In 2009, Overholt was part of ESPN’s early efforts to research and develop a sports media offering for women, and was espnW’s founding editor. She departed ESPN in 2010 to found her own digital content strategy company, where she managed redesigns and launches of websites, magazines, apps, video series and other cross-media projects for ESPN, NASDAQ, Hearst Publishing, The Robin Hood Foundation and The New York City Economic Development Corporation. As an adjunct professor, she also taught Applied Research Methods to undergraduates at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.
Since returning to ESPN in 2014, Overholt has overseen the transformation of espnW.com and espnW’s rising influence across ESPN’s platforms and beyond the network. Under her guidance, the group has won five Gracie awards from the Alliance for Women in Media, in addition to an “Eppy” award from Editor & Publisher Magazine for best social media campaign on the subject of young athletes and mental health awareness. At The Magazine, in the first year of her leadership, the team earned 2017’s prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence in the “news, sports, and entertainment” category by the American Society of Magazine Editors, along with being named to AdWeek’s annual “Hot List.” In 2018, The Magazine was named FOLIO’s “Magazine of the Year” at the annual industry awards gala.
Overholt herself has, in consecutive years, been named one of AdWeek’s 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports (2016 and 2017) and one of CableFax’s Most Powerful Women in Cable (2017 and 2018). She has also been one of Folio’s “Top Women in Media” two years running, listed on the 2016 Folio 100, and named a “Game Changer” by Sports Business Journal in 2015.
Over the years her writing has appeared in Fortune, Fasti Company, The Wall Street Journal, O: The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Inc., Sports Illustrated: Women, and Fitness. Born in New York State, Overholt spent her childhood in Hong Kong and is a proud graduate of Hong Kong International School. She is a former high school basketball player and an avid runner, having finished the Honolulu Marathon in 2003 and the New York City Marathon in 2013, with several half marathons between and since. She graduated with honors from Harvard University with an A.B. in government, and now resides in West Hartford, Connecticut, with her two young children and her husband, Seth, who is also a journalist at ESPN.
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